More formula options now available to WIC families

WIC: Women, Infants, and Children.
WIC: Women, Infants, and Children.(MGN)
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 4:07 PM EDT
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WITN) - Mothers and families who participate in a state program can now use their benefits for many more formula products in the midst of the nationwide baby formula shortage crisis.

The DHHS says families participating in the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children can now use their benefits for 55 more formula products. This is in addition to eight other options added last week for different sizes and types of Gerber products.

“We are taking every potential action to ensure families participating in WIC have the flexibility they need at the shelf to obtain infant formula,” NCDHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley said. “We will continue working with our local and federal partners to do all that we can to ensure safe and nutritious options for babies and families.”

The department stresses that no additional steps need to be taken to gain access to these changed benefits starting Monday. Families will be able to use the updated benefits list and all the changes on the Bnft app or by checking out the NCDHHS website. Anyone unsure can scan the item and the app will verify its eligibility.

When redeeming new sizes, any can of infant formula 28 oz. or smaller will count as one can. Any can larger than 28 oz. will count as two cans.

The DHHS says it is continuing to update resources and guidance during the formula shortage. The latest resources are available here. For families struggling to find the formula they need, the department has four important reminders:

  • Remember that most families have multiple safe options for their infants even if their usual formula is not in stock. If you can’t find formula or can’t find your baby’s typical formula, work with your child’s health care provider to determine the best feeding plan.
  • Do NOT water down your baby’s formula to stretch it out. It can be extremely dangerous to your baby to do so.
  • Do NOT make homemade formula. A baby’s nutritional needs are very specific, and homemade formula may contain too little or too much of certain vitamins and minerals, like iron.
  • Do NOT buy formula from online auctions, unknown individuals, or unknown origins. Storage and shipping conditions may impact formula safety

WITN is told that the DHHS will continue to monitor the formula supply across the state to keep the people and organizations up to date on any changes.

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